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My Invisalign Experience - Villa Park, CA

So far, so good. I am nearing the last few days...

So far, so good. I am nearing the last few days of my 2nd set of aligners. The whole thing is expected to take about 20 months.
I am 53 years old. I had braces in high school on my top arch only, and was never 100 percent happy with my teeth, so I finally decided to fo something about it, almost 3 1/3 years after my initial Invisalign consultation.
I selected "not sure" above, because I won't know if it was worth it for 20 months, when I see my final results!

my teeth with my 2nd set

better lighting

in this pic you can see my lower extraction

another pic

bottom arch, showing extraction

3rd set of aligners

I popped in my 3rd set of aligners on Sunday night, May 11th. For the 1st time, I finally felt pressure, so I also took 1 Tylenol. I have had them In for about 27 hours now- they have only been out for 45 minutes so far. I have a feeling that at the end of these 3 weeks with set #3, that I will see some change!

I am in severe pain last 24 hours

I have tmj, for as long as I can remember, over 40 years, I hear a "pop" every time I open my mouth, on my right side, and it has caused me over the years to grind my teeth while I sleep. That wasthe extent of my symptoms, never any pain. I am nearing the end of my 3rd set of aligners. I noticed about 1 week ago that my popping sound every time I open my mouth is not as loud/severe. Last night, the pain started. It appears to be in my upper left jaw area, but it is hard to pinpoint. I have a dentist appt for sn unrelated issue this Friday, and my next ortho appt is Monday, to get my 4th set of aligners. I will ask both what could be causing this pain. I am taking extra strength Tylenol since Thursday morning. I had a very hard time sleeping today, and am working all night tonight. I think the pain must be related to my tmj, and the aligners, and the reshaping of my jaw that invisalign causes. Hopefully this pain is very temporary!

Called my ortho's emergency #

My orthodontist called me back within 10 minutes. I reminded him of my TMJ disorder, and he told me to remove my aligners for as day or 2, to hopefully refuce the swelling. I guess I have swelling.....I removed my aligners at approx. 11:00 p.m. They have been out about 35 minutes now, and my pain is 80 petcent gone! I can live with this level of pain. I wonder if the pain will come back when I put them back in, and if this pain will delay getting set #4 on Monday, or change my treatment plan in any way.

the "relief" only lasted about 30 minutes

Still in agony. I switched from Extra Strength Tylenol to Advil Liqui-Gels, but still in major pain; shooting pains also, every 2 or 3 minutes. I need to remember to breathe!

in case I have to quit Invisalign

This may be as straight as my teeth are ever going to be. I hope it gets better, and I can continue on!

intermittent pain

My aligners are still out. I plan on getting a vicodin prescription filled today, and then go home and put my aligners back in tonight. Today I got a slushie icy drink at Costco. It started a massive pain attack that luckily only lasted about 20 minutes. That sounds kind of like nerve pain to me. I can't wait to hear what my ortho says at my appt on Monday. I am scared to eat or drink anything now!

at dentist

In chair now. Update later. Thx

update

I made an "emergency visit" to my new dentist who is scheduled to do my root canal on Monday June 9th. He is sending me to yet another dentist tomorrow (Friday) morning, for an I and D (incision and drainage). Yes, I am going to have pus drained !!! I cannot eat soup using a soup spoon. I can't open my mouth that wide, I used a straw. The root canal is still scheduled for Monday, if I can open my mouth by then. I only had 1 pain pill left, and I got a refill.

update

Root canal performed under general anesthesia on Monday June 9th, after conference call between 3 different dentists. They opened my jaw somehow while I was under to be able to do the root canal. I still cannot open my mouth enough to eat or brush my teeth. On a liquid diet. Still numb bottom front teeth, numb bottom lip and swollen upper neck.

inserted my upper aligner tonight

I decided to put my top aligner (set 3) back in tonight. It has been 2 weeks since I stopped wearing them. I have no idea if this is a good idea or not. If I feel any pain, I will remove them immediately. Leaving bottom aligner out still. Still numb, and unable to open mouth very far. I was able to brush and floss tonight, barely.

another thing

Still numb bottom front teeth, numb bottom lip, and chin area. I think my mouth is opening a tiny bit wider today. As of yesterday, I weighed the same as when I was 25 years old! The only good thing about having an abscess, I have lost 5 or 6 pounds!!! I do not lose (or gain) weight easily. It remains pretty constant. I always weigh myself on my sister's fancy digital scale, so I am comparing apples to apples. 5' 6" tall, 124.6 pounds.

scale

My current weight.

update, June 18-19th

During the night, at work, Wednesday night/Thursday morning, my lower left jaw swelled up again. I called the endodontist who performed my root canal and went to see her at 4:30 p.m. The dentist from next door walked over and they were trying to figure out what is wrong. They do not know. They prescribed another antibiotic and also a steroid to reduce inflammation. I may have to finally get that incision & drainage next Monday ( I need to get some sleep tomorrow/Friday). They told me to wait on getting measured for the crown, so I cancelled that appt.

incision & drainage cancelled/postponed

I went in for my surgery this morning, and my swelling was almost gone. The dentist decided against doing the surgery. He said if he cut me open that he would find no puss. He said to finish my antibiotics, and let's see if my swelling comes back. I am still wearing set #2. As of yesterday, I should have started set #5, changing into a new set every 3 weeks, so this ordeal has put me way behind schedule. I may be wearing set #2 for another month! I have no idea. Not sure what is next, just wait & see, I guess.

Can anyone tell me how many total sets I will have?

I read sll of the Invisalign reviews, and I read on one of them that you can tell how many sets of aligners you will have to wear by reading the numbers that are printed on your aligners. My current aligners read "82810-1A-L and 82810-1AU. Can anyone tell me how many sets this means that I will have to wear. I was told by my orthofontist, 3 weeks per set, for 20 to 24 months, which Is about 35 sets.

appt made for July 2nd

I have an appt for July 2nd with the dentist who will eventually do my crown. Probably not next week though, since I am still swollen, & cannot open my jaw very far. I am curious as to what will happen next, and what the dentist will say. I will be finished with my antibiotics by then.
I am still numb, and it is driving me crazy. It feels like when your foot is asleep, but it is in my jaw, that tingly feeling.
I have been wearing set #2, both uppers and lowers the last several days.

I got a new temp crown today

I was measured for my permanent crown today and will receive it in 2 weeks. I also got a better temporary crown put on today. I am still a little bit swollen, but not really noticeable. I am still numb, and cannot open my jaw very wide, but wide enough to let the dentist do his work today. He asked for my bottom aligner, in order to make the crown. I gave it to him (set #2), and when I got home, I put in set #3, both top & bottom. I had been wearing set #2, this time around, for 4 1/2 weeks, so hopefully it is o.k to install set #3, (again). I had previously worn set #3 for almost 3 weeks when this whole ordeal started.

Big update today

Today I received my permanent crown. I then went to my orthodontist, 1 block away, and got my 4th set, PLUS 9 attachments!!! It is 5:00 p.m, and I have not eaten or drank anything all day yet. I don't know if I will be able to get my aligners off or not, but will try so I can eat something later today.

another thing

I can open my mouth/jaw about 90 percent now. Still numb lower front teeth, numb bottom lip, and numb chin.
Pain is all gone, abscess all healed.

question

Has anyone noticed that their teeth start moving faster once the attachments are put on? Just curious. It seems logical that they would start to move quicker. If you have attachments applied with set #1, you would not know.
Dr. Ken Fischer

An "Elite Premier Provider", member of the American Association of Orthodontists. He is my nephew's orthodontist, who had traditional braces several years ago, and still has periodic follow-up appts with him.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (48)

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Progress.  But it's still worrying that you are numb.  I see symptoms like that in the jaw surgery community all the time, but not in Invisalign.  Has there been any progress on that at all, other than the pain receding, or?

I'm assuming the crown fit in your aligners, so that's great!  That doesn't always happen :).
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I gave my dentist my 2nd set of aligners, so he could make the crown to fit. I dId some internet research, and I think one of the numbing shots hit my nerve. It can take 6 to 12 months to get the feeling back.
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Smart :)  About giving the aligner, I mean!

And re. the numbness, at least that's an explanation, and it makes sense.  And they said it's usual for the sensation to return, I assume.  That's really heartening!
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I don't get "little baggies", they just hand the aligners to me.
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Oh!  Huh.  I never even considered that.  Each of my aligners was pre-packaged in an individually labeled bag.  My retainers as well.  They came from Invisalign that way.  I'm always surprised how different doctors handle things!
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I'm not sure, but I always thought the number they were talking about was on the little baggie each aligner comes in.  Because on that one it says "aligner x of y", so mine always said, like, "aligner 3 of 18" even though I only ended up doing 15 aligners before my refinement.  If I had to take a guess, it'd be that the numbers on your actual aligners are case number, aligner number, left/right.  Your math is likely the best estimate, and your doctor could tell you more.  But there are also mid-course corrections and refinements which may add time, and it may be that your doctor moves to 2 weeks/aligner instead of 3 at some point, if thing start going well.
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O.k, thank you.
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It would be great to avoid surgery, though.  You'll be a couple of months behind at the end of this, but…you know…two months.  At the end, it won't feel like much.  As long as all of this misery (and not knowing) gets ended now, and you don't have to go through it again later.  I hope this is the end of it!!!
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Not much point in getting fitted for a crown in your state :(.  I am really sad that they haven't figured out what's wrong yet, but continue to hope that each new intervention will bring improvement.  I hope the swelling allows you to sleep.
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They said to wait on being fitted for a crown in case the worst case scenario happens, and the now ground down tooth has to be pulled. It would be a waste of money. No pain at least, but can't open my mouth very far and still numb lower front teeth, bottom lip and chin. I should be starting my 5 th set on Monday, and I am on my 2nd set, and probably will be for another month !!!! Oh well.
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Small improvements--can't come fast enough!  I'd think you should be sore from the tray tomorrow, in that normal way that one gets sore after a new tray, but I'm curious to see how it goes for you, because maybe your teeth didn't move that much.
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Set 3 lasted for 4 hours. I had to take it out in the middle of the night. I will try set 2 tonight (upper arch only).
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Oh, okay.  Good luck!
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Set 2, upper arch fit much better, but my upper arch is a constant, dull ache. I called my ortho this morning, asking about what to do about my wearing my bottom aligner, and they had me come for an appt this afternoon. My ortho had me pop in my bottom aligner, also set #2. I could tell that that last bottom left side tooth did not "fit like a glove" into the plastic, but the bottom aligner is much more comfortable than the top! My ortho told me to call his office for my next appt after I get my crown. My appt at my dentist will be next Monday the 23rd of June, to get measured for the crown.
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At least you found the right set.  You'll get this done yet!  I know sometimes some of my teeth didn't fit perfectly right away, which was another reason I clenched my teeth so much, chewing on the trays to get them to seat well.  Terrible.  But it's great to hear how well your doctors are working together and with you!
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Good thing you're still at a healthy weight.  It can be more difficult to heal if you dip underweight for too long--that's what I've found in the past, in my own experience.
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Yeah, I don't have to worry about that. It is not in my genes to ever get skinny !!!
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Did the dentist not have anything to say on Friday?  Did they just prescribe the Vicodin?
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No, I didn't really expect him to know. He did think that my pain is muscular, not joint related, by conducting a few simple tests, like having me stick my fingers in my ears, etc. He is 80 years old, by the way. I put my aligners back in 45 minutes ago- they had been out for exactly 48 hours. So far, so good. Eating or drinking anything causes mild to very severe pain. Room temp liquids and food causes the least amount of pain.
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About a year ago, In anticipation of getting Invisalign, I thought I might have a cracked tooth. Wanting to get that confirmed and fixed if necessary, I went to my dentist. He was having me bite down on a popsicle stick, etc. Finally I said " aren't you going to take x-rays? " He did then, and a while later, I got a bill for the x-rays for $25. The office is out of the 1960s. He is so inexpensive, but not high tech at all. My ortho is just the opposite.
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I have decided that I have a cracked tooth. I called my dentist at home this morning at 9:00 a.m, and I am meeting him at his office today at 1:30 p.m. I hope he can fix it today. I am wearing my top aligner only today.
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Do you think it's the cracked tooth that is causing the pain or is that independent of the pain.  That'd be wonderful if that took care of it!  Is that an extraction situation?  I have no idea how they fix cracked teeth!
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I don't know if the cracked tooth is causing all of my pain, or if I have 2 problems going on.
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Okay…will wait for further info, and hope for cessation of your pain!
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I found out today that I have an abcess in lower left back tooth. Now on antibiotics and a different pain pill. Root canal scheduled for next Monday, June 9th. My mouth is so sore from yesterday that i can hardly open my mouth.
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